Christopher Gajewski: The New Orthodontic Lab


Chris Gajewski

Bio:

Owner of Bryn Mawr Orthodontic Lab for the last 12 years; been working in the field for 30 years. BS in Communications from the University of Miami. Took my five person lab to 100% digital work flow in the last two years.

The New Orthodontic Lab: Wading into Digital Orthodontics for the Small Lab

The New Orthodontic Lab: Wading into Digital Orthodontics for the Small Lab

The orthodontic laboratory industry has never seen a change like this. It is more than about the technology. It is about reorganizing your lab and reorganizing the way you think about your lab. Buying a scanner or 3D printer is not like buying a new lathe or air compressor. It is not simply a matter of receiving models in a new way. What it is is creating a new department for your lab and integrating it into your current work flow.

1. Intro: From the Ancient Lab to the Old Lab to the New Lab

2. Model Scanners and why you need to get one. It's all about the software.

3. 3D Printers: the salespeople are lying to you

4. The New Department; you need a "Bob," someone you would never think of hiring before.

5. Soldering vs. Laser Welders vs. Pulse Arc Welders

6. Expanding on the technology: The only way 3D printing will pay for itself is if all of the labs around you go out of business and you get all of their work. I think there is a better way.

7. Marketing. Yes, you need an advertising budget

8. Networking

9. Wrap up: Chasing 90 on the golf course or that record bass--get the hell out of the lab   

Clinic Objective

The objective of the clinic is more of an overview into the new orthodontic lab and how to get there as opposed to a detailed comparison of the technologies. It is the overview, or intro class, as opposed to the master degree class. The new technologies can be scary and overwhelming for small labs. And they are. A bigger lab can make mistakes and hire new people and eat the losses. A small lab can go under, as I almost did. 

I went from looking at hundreds and thousands of dollars in equipment and supplies to tens of thousands of dollars. I went from a few extra hours here and there to a work week that just about broke apart my marriage. Don't do what I did.

Research is important and small manageable steps are even more important.

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